Tip of the Week

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hiking and Wine Tasting at Heritage Oak Winery

Recently I made a trip to the Lodi and Woodbridge area to check out a few wineries.  This is a growing wine region with several award winning wines and many wine events throughout the year.  On this particular trip I visited Heritage Oak Winery (which was suggested to me) and I took my dogs along.  Most wineries do not allow dogs on the property at all or if they do, dogs are not allowed in the tasting room.  In this case you can leave your dogs in the car to taste a few wines or purchase a bottle before going on your hike.  Bring a picnic or pick one up to pair with a bottle (or two) of wine.

Maps of the vineyard and trails are available online (click here) or at the winery.  If you want a leisurely stroll walk down to the river where picnic tables await you and there's beach access.  This is particularly great for any warm or hot days.

I picked up a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc to take on my picnic and it's a very light and crisp white wine with citrus tones.  This is a great wine for pairing with different foods (if you are into that) and I liked that it was light and refreshing on a warm day.  There are many reds if you prefer red wine, though.

My dogs were excited to go for a ride as we followed the signs to the winery and were raring to go once we arrived.  Everyone strapped on their backpacks, including the dogs and we were off.  The trail leaves directly from the winery and parking lot.  Be sure to have some sunscreen since there are areas without tree cover or shade.  We first headed to the river and beach access, but the dogs were not tired and were enjoying all the new scents, so we continued on.  The beach access trail is just a little off-shoot from the main trail.  The rest of the trail wanders around the river and vineyard area making a loop.  It's a very easy trail to hike, only one area with a slight ascend/descend, but don't think you are going to hike this in any sort of heel or non-walking shoe.

Finally the dogs were ready for a break so we decided to enjoy lunch and our wine on the outdoor patio at winery.  The patio has plenty of tables and chairs (if you forgot your glasses you can borrow some from the winery) and it is very peaceful.  There are wonderful flower gardens around the house and winery and plenty of bird feeders.  I saw many hummingbirds and finches while sipping wine.

Next time I might taste some of their reds and check out a few other wineries in the area.  So if you are looking for a short walk or want to take your dog check this winery out!

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